April 30, 2015

Childhood trauma/recovery expert to speak on campus

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  --  Tonier Cain, an expert on childhood trauma and recovery, will speak at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on May 8. 

The Trauma Based Behavioral Health Fellowship, a federally funded behavioral training initiative at SIU’s School of Social Work, will host the presentation and training session, which is free and open to the public. Cain’s appearance is set for 1 to 4 p.m. in the Davis Auditorium, Room 105, in the Wham Building. 

The presentation is part of a $1.18 million Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training award that Dhrubodhi Mukherjee, associate professor and undergraduate program director for the School of Social Work, received in fall 2014. Community members may earn Continuing Education Units for attending Cain’s presentation. 

Cain was abused as a child, and she developed a crack addition and was arrested 83 times. She was raped and beaten many times and was homeless for years. While incarcerated and pregnant in 2004, she participated in a life-changing community trauma, metal health and addiction program. 

She is now an educator and child advocate who works for the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, suggesting a special, effective way of treating adults who were traumatized as children. She believes that “Where there’s breath, there’s hope,” and a film about her story has won numerous awards. 

The competitive federal grant award assists students in studying trauma-focused behavioral health in children, adolescents and transitional youths -- people up to the age of 25. Researchers have found significant evidence to indicate that mental illnesses are often actually the result of some type of trauma and by properly diagnosing the cause of the trauma and providing treatment, outcomes are improved, Mukherjee said. 

The three-year grant, “Trauma-Based Behavioral Health Fellowship: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Training for Social Work Students in Southern Illinois,” comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. It provides fellowships for SIU students to give them extra training from professionals in the field. The first group of program fellows will graduate May 8. 

For more information about the program or Tonier’s appearance, or to receive continuing education units for attending the presentation, visit www.ehs.siu.edu/tbbhfellowship, call 618/453-1262 or email jcutrell@siumed.edu